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Dana Milbank: Good afternoon, and happy "Mission Accomplished" Day. It's been five years since President Bush's famous landing aboard the USS Lincoln, and Democrats are celebrating by reminding him of it. This has the makings of the next federal holiday, a time for the entire family to get together over a meal and declare premature victories in their daily struggles. I am saying "Mission Accomplished" to my incomplete effort to lose 10 pounds. Hillary Clinton can say "Mission Accomplished" in her battle against Barack Obama. Obama can say "Mission Accomplished" in his effort to silence Jeremiah Wright. And John McCain can say "Mission Accomplished" in his brave struggle to tell the Sunni from the Shi'a.
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Great Falls, Va.: Dana, you're falling for that old administration press line again: Despite Perino's disclaimers yesterday, the "Mission Accomplished" banner really did celebrate a true victory. It heralded Bush's success in starting an unneeded war that has made billions for his administration's donors. In fact, the plan worked so well that they are going to do it all over again in Iran. On the other hand, you haven't lost 10 pounds. The problem is you just don't know how to express your goals.

washingtonpost.com: Rough Sketch: Bush's Least Favorite Anniversary (washingtonpost.com, May 1)

Dana Milbank: Great Ceasar's Ghost, Great Falls! You're right. And, in fact, I am opposed to arbitrary timetables forcing the withdrawal of my extra 10 pounds. I will return the weight on success. I don't even care if the weight stays on me for 100 years. Mission Accomplished.

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Oviedo, Fla.: Don't lose 10 pounds -- every square inch of you is delightful. Your lamentations column was a jewel. It changed the debate and framed the whole issue in a new light. Is it hard to write about a pastor, and "the black church" -- assuming that is one entity? Do you have to tiptoe, or does Wright having come forward give you license to drill deep? How is it different than if the wildcard was someone's stepsister, say, or college advisor?</p>

Dana Milbank: Thank you, Florida. I am feeling much better about myself now, and I plan to take this question to my doctor tomorrow when I undergo my annual physical.

On the Wright thing: I am generally bad at tiptoeing (probably the excess weight) and tend to charge heedlessly into delicate areas. That said, the rev made things very easy by doing everything but light his hair on fire. I was at the press club for his speech Monday, and I got that rare feeling -- horrifying yet captivating -- of watching a train wreck occur before my eyes.

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Anonymous: It's May Day. What's a commie like you doing working?

Dana Milbank: Quite right. I should end this chat now and declare Mission Accomplished.

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Tulsa, Okla.: Loved "Homo Politicus." Why oh why can't people see what it would be like to have Bill back at the White House? He never would shut up, he would inject himself into every issue, and valuable time and energy would have to be spent cleaning up after his messes. What's wrong that people can't see this? It's driving me crazy!

Dana Milbank: Very shrewd, Tulsa. I think the media's nakedly pro-Obama coverage is actually not in our self interest. Obama is quite earnest, and that is bad for journalism. What's good for journalism is non-stop conflict, legislative gridlock, and constant disaster. This is why we in the fourth estate should be pushing for repeal of the 22nd amendment, which would allow a third term for President Bush, who, I see on my CNN screen, is at 28 percent.

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Read the whole transcript. And be sure to join in next week.

By Dana Milbank  | May 1, 2008; 2:00 PM ET
 
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Next: The Twilight of a Presidency

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